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The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Bronze - Firms: prosecution

The dedicated team at HOFFMANN EITLE goes the extra mile to truly understand its clients and provide a tailored service that supports business objectives. Gustavo Fúster Olaguibel and Silvia Bertran Valls are the names to note for patent prosecution instructions. Olaguibel draws on his in-house experience to make all the right strategic calls. Life sciences expert Valls stands out as a creative problem solver who has crafted successful prosecution strategies where others have struggled. IAM Patent 1000 newcomer, “Miguel Ángel Martínez is one of the best patent attorneys out there – he instils total confidence in his patrons through his amazing strategic vision and tactical and methodical approach, which achieves solid patent protection. He is a highly qualified professional, who provides valuable opinions and is trustworthy, efficient, collaborative and capable of working to a tight deadline. Miguel is always willing to support his service users and explain legal concepts. His client care is exceptional.”

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Bronze - Firms: infringement

Gold - Firms: prosecution and nullity

In the words of clients, “The team at HOFFMANN EITLE is really great. We rely on them for a large volume of work – both portfolios and for litigation preparation. They do a great job on both. We have worked with various attorneys at Hoffmann and their skills are always top notch. The depth and breadth of their team is excellent, both in technology backgrounds and in legal skills. We have had excellent experiences working with them in the German courts and are happy to rely on them. If you have a tricky case, whether in pharma or SPCs, there is no better team for EPO oppositions and patent attorney work.” Boasting one of the largest IP teams in Europe, HOFFMANN EITLE has one of Germany’s strongest prosecution practices, along with a solid bench of attorneys at law to support the most fraught legal issues, whether contentious or not. “The litigation team at HOFFMANN EITLE led by Dirk Schüßler-Langeheine is to be rated very highly. Dirk is excellent – he is extremely experienced, knowledgeable, realistic and business focused. He and his team are excellent advocates, and the rare kind of external counsel you would allow to talk directly with internal senior stakeholders. Their English (and numerous other languages) is excellent, and they have obtained very good results. They are superb as part of a multi-jurisdictional team. Best of all, they are very nice people, who make working together on difficult issues very enjoyable!” Another skilled litigator at the outfit is Niels Hölder. “Niels produces excellent written work and he communicates effectively across borders, keeping the clients’ objectives always in mind. He stays focused on the business goals and provides clear guidance to that end. His advice is invariably detailed, yet high level and strategically focused on the big picture. The analysis was very technically and legally thorough, which is not always evident from infringement-focused counsel. Overall, HOFFMANN EITLE, and particularly Niels, are a go-to firm for European litigation strategy, especially because of their knowledge and familiarity with medical technologies and the issues that face medical device companies.” Joining Schüßler-Langeheine and Hölder on the attorney at law bench is Clemens Tobias Steins, who moves with equal dexterity across contentious and non-contentious matters. Bringing a detailed knowledge of tech licensing and M&A work to every interaction, Steins offers enforcement advice with a commercial sensibility in mind. The prosecution side of the practice is among Germany’s very best. Engineering inventors are well protected in the experienced hands of Claus Thomas Becher, Frank van Bouwelen and Veit Frank. The smart and strategic Becher is a mechanical engineer with a wealth of technical and oppositional expertise under his belt. A recent matter saw him supporting Hölder in an infringement action for Insulet against Medtrum, related to a patent for a portable insulin pump. He also represents MATCH Group LLC, owners of online dating platform Tinder, in a nullity action before the Federal Patent Court. The firm also defends the company in parallel infringement proceedings launched by Hoccer Betriebs GmbH. Van Bouwelen is also a specialist in mechanical engineering patents. Equipped with a PhD in physics, van Bouwelen supports patrons with his technical expertise across a range of specialist fields. Several inventions he is particularly proud of working for include medical technology, sealing devices for protection against fire, winglets for airplanes and various water management technologies. Frank is an insightful attorney who lets no detail pass him by unexamined. A skilled advocate for contentious prosecution matters from the courts to the EPO, his graduate research in the field of digital telecommunications makes him a real asset on the contemporary patent landscape. The biotechnology practice is co-headed by Joseph Taormino and Leo Polz. The always well-prepared Taormino has a PhD in biochemistry and has been in the patent profession for nearly 30 years. With experience in research and at a start-up, Taormino always offers his clients well-rounded, technically astute and commercially savvy advice. Polz’s expertise is wide ranging, taking in all the life science fields including pharmaceutics, diagnostics, analytics and microbiology. His 30-plus years’ experience in the profession make him a routine port of call for the trickiest opposition and nullity proceedings. One other name on the biotech bench is Andreas Stefferl. “Andreas has a brilliant mind and possesses highly detailed technical understanding. He is really great – working with him is an excellent experience.” The chemistry and life sciences practice is co-headed by Peter Klusmann. Klusmann’s practice takes in all manner of chemical applications, from pharmaceuticals to foodstuffs. He has a PhD in chemistry and has been engaged in the patent profession for almost 30 years. He is joined by Thorsten Bausch, Morten Garberg and Joachim Renken. “Thorsten is a great choice for high-value, contentious EPO oppositions and appeals in the pharmaceutical sector. His work is excellent, and he is very experienced. He is a skilled communicator and an excellent advocate. He can be relied on without hesitation.” Chemist Garberg has accrued significant expertise in EPO oppositions, conducting over 20 per year in a wide array of technical fields. A tenacious tactician, Garberg knows which arguments to leverage in order to secure the commercially prized objectives his customers seek. The enthusiastic Renken is also an experienced hand when it comes to EPO work. One high-profile matter which Renken has been involved in recently is providing strategic and technical advice to Moderna in its litigation against BioNTech concerning the mRNA covid-19 vaccine, launched in August 2022. 

Firm Profile

Currently, more than 150 professionals – patent attorneys, attorneys-at-law, engineers and scientists – work at HOFFMANN EITLE exclusively in the field of intellectual property. The HOFFMANN EITLE group is now present in eight essential economic centers in Europe (Munich, London, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Milano, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam).

HOFFMANN EITLE, which was founded in 1892, has grown from just one founding member into one of the largest intellectual property law firms in Europe. Its long tradition of excellence is today combined with a truly modern approach to IP consultation, very much to the satisfaction of its many clients. Our commitment to quality and competence is illustrated by the numerous awards we have won and our consistently high ranking in major industry guides.

We offer comprehensive European IP services and competent advice in all technical and legal areas. Our team of more than 120 patent attorneys with European and national qualifications and various technical backgrounds files in excess of 4,000 patent applications each year. HOFFMANN EITLE is also the market leader in EPO opposition work and is highly regarded by its peers for its experience and expertise in this area. Due to the large number of prosecution cases handled by HOFFMANN EITLE, we have accumulated a wealth of experience, and are always aware of the current trends. This experience supports our litigation practice, which in turn feeds into our IP contract cases.

The experiences gained in litigation and contract matters, in turn, allow us to be more goal-oriented in our prosecution work.

Per year:

  • approximately 4000–5000 patents filed (EPO, GPTO, PCT route)
  • 100–160 opposition proceedings commenced
  • 60–80 infringement or nullity actions filed
  • about 50 IP contracts advised on
  • approximately 60 new trademark applications filed at the GPTO
  • approximately 200 new EU trademark applications filed at the EUIPO
  • approximately 50 new international trademark applications filed at WIPO

One of our greatest strengths is the interdisciplinary cooperation among our patent attorneys working in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering & IT, also in drafting opinions on the legal validity and infringement of IP rights, as well as our German attorneys-at-law in the areas of trademarks & designs and patent litigation & licensing, which are actively involved in many national and international infringement suits and consulting work. Our forceful team of passionate patent litigators has profound experience in patent disputes in all relevant industries, including pharma and other life sciences, medical devices, telecommunication, automotive etc. A further strength is our vast expertise in international coordination of multijurisdictional disputes, advising our clients regarding their overall European litigation strategy. Especially in the trademark field, HOFFMANN EITLE has extensive experience in searches and application proceedings as well as in opinion drafting and litigation, and has often taken its appeals as far as the European Court of Justice.

Furthermore, the many IP professionals working at the various HOFFMANN EITLE offices closely cooperate with each other. These include IP specialists from countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, The Netherlands, USA, Japan, Korea and China. These specialists enable the firm to provide multilingual advice supported by knowledge of various IP systems and the respective legal traditions in their home countries. In addition to this in-house group, HOFFMANN EITLE has a well-established regional and global network of associates.

Catering for all our clients’ IP needs:

  • Filing and prosecution
  • Renewal fee payment
  • Litigation and contentious proceedings
  • IP transactions and contract issues
  • Expert opinions & worldwide representation

Clearly structured and organised formalities departments supervised by patent attorneys, to relieve patent attorneys from formal matters and allow them to focus on client and technical/legal issues, rather than paperwork:

  • filing of patent applications
  • term monitoring
  • annuities

Cultural internationality:

  • Several patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law fluent in Japanese
  • IP professionals from all over Europe and the US, Korea, China and Japan
  • Strong client base in Japan (firm files circa 10 per cent of all European patent applications originating from Japan)
  • also strong in US, South Korea and increasingly in China.
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